White House greenery

Here’s a run-down of the presidential candidates’ views on climate change. Voting records speak louder than words. Here’s a recap. This week, the donkeys. Next week, the elephants.

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.: He thinks the United States should lead a global effort to reduce greenhouse gases. He says he’d institute a cap-and-trade system, regulate emissions and increase investment in technologies to reduce greenhouse gases. He sponsored a 2007 Senate resolution to press President Bush to curb climate change. He favors reducing U.S. emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and of capping greenhouse gas emissions at 2000 levels by 2010. He voted against increasing automobile fuel efficiency standards to 40 mpg by 2015.

Hillary Clinton: Says the United States should lead international efforts to address climate change. She says she’d establish a market-based program to reduce global warming pollution. She favors reducing emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, cutting carbon emissions by 30 percent from 2000 to 2050, establishing a $50 billion fund to create a research agency that focuses on reducing the threat of global warming. She also voted to cap greenhouse gas emissions at 2000 levels by 2010 and increas car fuel efficiency standards to 40 mpg by 2015.

Chris Dodd.: Favors an energy plan that would both reduce global warming and gain energy independence. He says he’d reduce 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, eliminate U.S. dependence on Middle East oil by 2015, enact a carbon tax, raise car fuel economy to 50 mpg by 2017, and impose tough standards for new coal plants.

John Edwards: He says the United States should lead global efforts to reduce emissions. He’d cap greenhouse pollution starting in 2010 and reduce it by 80 percent by 2050. He says he’d create a $13 billion-a-year fund, financed by polluters, to be spent on renewable energy and other initiatives. He’d also reduce oil imports by 7.5 million barrels a day by 2025 and raise car fuel economy to 40 mpg by 2016. He voted against oil and gas exploration of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Mike Gravel: Says “fighting global warming can only be effective if it is a collective global effort” that includes China and India. He says he’d cap emissions, work with other global polluters to fight global warming, launch a global scientific effort to end energy dependence on oil, and support a carbon tax, which would raise the price of gas. While representing Alaska in the Senate, he voted in 1973 to authorize the construction of a 789-mile oil pipeline in Alaska, and he introduced an amendment to bar further court review of environmental questions raised by construction of the pipeline, which passed.

Dennis Kucinich: Says the United States should lead a global fight on emissions. He’d have the United States join the Kyoto accord. He’d strengthen environmental laws and increase penalties on polluters, institute a “Global Green Deal” to provide jobs in sustainable energy production here, and increase independence from foreign oil. He voted against opening ANWR to oil and gas exploration. He voted yes to reduce emissions from power plants and to raise car fuel standards to 33 mpg by 2015.

Barack Obama: Says the nation should lead global efforts to reduce emissions. He favors a market-based, cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. He’d require transportation fuels to contain 5 percent less carbon by 2015 and 10 percent less by 2020. He’d establish targets for annual fuel-economy increases and give industry flexibility to meet the targets. He’d give automakers health-care assistance in exchange for their investing 50 percent of the savings into technology for fuel-efficient vehicles. He voted to cut emissions by 30 percent from 2000 to 2050 and to cap greenhouse gases at 2000 levels by 2010.

Bill Richardson: Thinks we should join the Kyoto treaty and exceed its limits to make up for lost time. He says he’d reduce oil imports from 65 percent to 10-15 percent, in part by getting the 100 mpg car into the marketplace. He’d double car fuel economy standards to 50 mpg by 2020 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 90 percent by 2050. As governor of New Mexico, he entered the state into a five-state agreement in to lower greenhouse gases, signed an executive order to reduce greenhouse gases in New Mexico by 267 million metric tons, established energy efficient building standards in state buildings, and required increased use of renewable fuels in state government. Kat Kerlin

Build a hoop house to provide produce for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada as part of the nationwide Make a Difference Day on Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1725 S. McCarran Blvd. You’ll be joining members of the Great Basin Institute’s Nevada Conservation Corps, Americorps, Vista, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, the Food Bank and volunteers with Home Depot and Wells Fargo to clear brush, garbage and invasive plant species from the site, as well as construct the hoop house, which is a mini-greenhouse. Tools, gloves, water and food will be provided. For more information, contact Jason Stancil at 331-3663 or the Great Basin Institute at 784-1192, or visit www.greatbasininstitute.org and www.usaweekend.com/diffday.